It’s never all that welcome a feeling. You know the one I mean: that one you get when you hear something that really validates Jeremy Clarkson’s outlook on life. The sort of thing that you just know would have him nodding in smug satisfaction, ‘I was right all along.’
And hey, whatever else you think about the guy, it’s undeniable that he’s the very last person in need of an ego boost.
For yes, after years of speculation, it appears it’s official – the roar of a supercharged car engine gets the ladies’ motors very much ticking over in tandem – as well as the mens’, apparently …
Hiscox (No, Seriously)
This is according to research undertaken by the exclusive (and aptly named) Bermuda-based Insurance Group, Hiscox – just in case you were wondering who funds this stuff. The Hiscox team discovered that when exposed to the engine revs of various supercars, the forty men and women tested displayed higher testosterone counts – this being, as we know, a strong indicator of physical stimulation.
Each participant in the clinical trial listened to a recording of a car engine turning over for twenty minutes, with swabs measuring the testosterone secretions in their saliva taken shortly before and after. Recordings of a Ferrari, and Lamborghini, and a Maserati were heard.
Interestingly, the study discovered that the women tested displayed the greatest changes, with the Maserati in particular resulting in conspicuous T-count increases in each of them. Even more interestingly, more than half of the women taking part professed little or no interest in cars or motor sports before the trial began. (Methinks the lady doth protest too much…)
Of the men tested, only half displayed an increase in response to the Maserati, although the Lamborghini fired the pistons in 60%.
The Science Bit
Psychologist David Moxon, who chaired the research, considered the results conclusive:
It ought to be remembered, of course, that (primeval physiological responses aside,) women have far less naturally occurring testosterone than men – less than a tenth as much on average, in fact. A similar de facto testosterone increase in both sexes, then, might appear proportionally greater in women.
This in turn might produce a slightly skewed result, depending on how certain measurements were presented. I feel, however, that I’d be losing Jeremy Clarkson slightly at this point, so here’s a little bit more to cheer him:
The T-Hole in the Polo
The folks at Hiscox also played a recording of a Volkswagen Polo’s engine to participants, only to discover that all of the women subsequently demonstrated lower testosterone levels than before, in an exact mirror image of the Maserati results. This may be why there is yet to be a single documented case of a Max Power photo spread featuring a bikini-clad model draped over a bone stock hatchback.
Yes, it would seem the timorous burble of a non-turbo 1.2 litre petrol engine just doesn’t really get any gal going. Who’d have thunk?.
One can only imagine what results a near-silent Hybrid might produce, however environmentally sound, although I suspect that there ought to be a qualified medic and a heart defibrillator handy.
What recourse, then, for those mere mortals among us, toiling on a salary smaller than the annual GDP of Belgium?
With not all of us (well, hardly any of us) able to swing by our nearest Italian super car emporium and slap down a cheeky installment, it may be that we’ll need to stick to alternative means of keeping our testosterone levels up – as well as that of our significant other. Truth is, sometimes cheaper doesn’t have to mean worse, despite what Clarkson might have you believe.
And speaking of the Great Offender, reports currently place him as halfway through a Research Paper that proves once and for all just how feckless Central Americans are … Somebody turn that bloody car engine down!!